This topic is adapted from the PursueGOD Network YouTube channel.
Small groups are designed to be places where growing disciples make other disciples. But that doesn’t happen automatically. The leaders of the group must be intentional about cultivating and planning for six important priorities.
In a group that makes disciples, the members are continually inviting others to join. Christians who will make disciples can’t just be concerned with their own needs but must learn to see and care about the needs of others. As newcomers are included, existing group members can help them grow in their pursuit of God.
To catalyze disciple-making, everyone in the group gets involved. There are no spectators. Everyone can participate and serve at some level even when they are new to the group. A group dominated by one or two members will not become a disciple-making group because, instead of developing their potential, people will sit back and watch.
To make disciples, the leaders of the group must give away responsibility whenever possible. No one can or should do everything. Leaders must be intentional about planning in a different way – not just planning what they will do each week, but planning what they will assign and equip others to do. Only then will the group members develop their potential to help others.
In a disciple-making group, there are no superstars and thus no solo leaders. Everything is done as a team. Leaders are intentional about developing their teams. We need what others can contribute if we are to become everything God created us to be.
Mentoring is one-on-one disciplemaking. Leaders must be intentional not only about mentoring people in the group, but about training and releasing group members to mentor each other. The group becomes a safe place for people to learn how to help others pursue God in this way. Then group members will begin to mentor others outside the group, eventually inviting them to join the group.
As members of the group learn to reproduce themselves in others, the group likewise moves toward reproducing itself in new groups. As they help others pursue God, the group will grow in number. People will be looking for opportunities to lead. Instead of growing larger and larger, with more people relegated to the sidelines, disciple-making groups release people into new groups.
If your group is intentional about these priorities, there is no stopping what God can do through you!
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Why do groups stop acting invitationally? How does this affect a group’s ability to make disciples who make disciples?
- Have you been part of a group where responsibilities were fully shared? How did that help make the group healthy?
- Have you been part of a leader-dominated group? What are the strengths and weaknesses of that approach?
- Explain how a small group provides a safe environment for people to learn how to mentor others.
- How do you feel about your group reproducing itself into more than one group, and why?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.